6.30.2009

You might not called to adopt....

...but you are called to GO...

When was the last time you considered where God would have you GO?? Instead of stuffing GO into the box of if, or when, maybe it's time for you to start praying about WHERE!!!

Our agency, America World, not only joins forever-ever families through adoption, they also provide opportunity for individuals to "...visit orphans in their distress..."

So...no excuses to not be apart of God's provision for the fatherless...

...faith without deeds is DEAD!!...show me your faith without deeds, and I'll show you my faith by what I do...

Check out the recent Visiting Orphans project, lead by AWAA Staff.

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?
So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe––and shudder!
Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”––
and he was called a friend of God.
James 2: 14-23

6.21.2009

Father's Day


Being Vince's FIRST Father's Day, I wanted to get him something very special...and symbolic! Coincidentally, Mother's Day week-end we went to an art festival and came across The Art of Letters photography. The photographs resemble letters, and most pics are taken in the Birmingham/Trussville area -- she can design anything!

I chose the word A-D-O-P-T-E-D because adoption is obviously a huge part of our family. And, not only because we have adopted Micah, but because Vince & I have been adopted as well...by our Heavenly Father.



Proud daddy...proud son!!!

For you, O God, have heard my vows;
you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.
Psalm 61:5

6.12.2009

Geography 101



OK, so this is too funny not to share...

We had to visit the Social Security office this morning to apply for Micah's social security card. I thought this would be the hardest part of the process: explaining that Ethiopia uses the Julian calender; therefore, ignore the 2001 dates - and use the dates that match our calender year, but pay attention that they're transposed (day/month/year).

However, as the person behind the counter was processing our application, she asked about Micah's ethnicity...mind you, she had Micah's Ethiopian birth certificate in hand...

She wanted to know if Micah is Asian?? What??
Of course, Vince and I responded with a resounding, NO!

So then she asked if he is Hispanic?? Are you serious??
NO!! He's from AFRICA!

Not only did the staff not know where Ethiopia is located, I'm sure they also fall into the company of many who do not know that Africa is a continent, not a country.

Vince & I giggled the whole way home...


6.09.2009

one of my favorite things

Well, most everything is a favorite when it comes to Micah...not because he's a perfect little person, but because his life is God's perfect plan. Even the difficult things are God's provision.

Something I've noticed lately that continues to melt my heart over and over...something that confirms, yes, we will do this again...is how Micah is blossoming as a son...having a mommy. Not having just a care-giver, but his very own mother -- to which he is her very own son. He's been home two and a half months, and most days he's just trying to figure it all out...yet his pondering is paying off.

He knows. I am his...

He has put the pieces together...

I am here in the morning-
I am here in the evening-
I am here at lunch time-
I am here at bath time-
I am with him at the store-
I am with him at church-

When I go, he goes...when I stay, he stays...

He has the freedom to be held whenever he wants, for as long he wants. I often catch him peeking over his shoulder when playing on the floor...he's looking for me. Not that he's afraid I've left, but because he knows I am his...my smiles, my laughs, my silly songs, my kisses...

Yes, I know this will not always be the case...I will eventually have to leave him in child-care at church...enroll him in school...re-invest in my adult friendships...get away with my hubby...

And, when we do adopt again, it will look different for our next child -- not for better or worse, but for more. Our next child will not only have his/her own mommy and daddy, but also their very own big brother.

Glory to God for the great things He has done!

6.08.2009

UGH...just have to laugh!!

...of all the things I've prayed for God to protect Micah from, poison ivy/oak/sumac was NOT on the list.

We took Micah to the lake on Saturday...we didn't take him on the boat, but just hung around outside our friend's lake house. I either held, had him in his jogger, or sat with him on a towel...no big deal, right?? Well, I noticed two bumps on him Saturday night -- I was certain one was from a mosquito, and assumed the other was a bug bite as well.

But, by Sunday afternoon the second bump had turned into a small cluster of blisters. An identical bump appeared on his hand. I wasn't alarmed initially...I've never had a reaction to poison-this-and-that, but Vince is very allergic -- so he recognized the blisters immediately.

I hopped on the internet to do some 'mommy research', and sure enough it's poison-something. I did read that it's very uncommon for infants to react to poison plants...children usually become sensitive by age 2-4, with sensitivity peaking around 12-14 years.

I am certain that Micah did not have direct contact with a poison plant...so, if he's had an allergic reaction as and infant, without direct contact, I'm assuming he's going to be VERY allergic to the stupid stuff??? I had to mummy-wrapped the blister on his hand, since loves to rub his eyes when he's sleepy...

Sooooo disappointing for our little lass...playing in the woods is such part of boyhood initiation. Not to mention hunting with daddy. Ugh!!

Vince spoke with a friend last night (M.D. and father to an Ethiopian son) about the bumps -- he said we should use a small amount of hydro-cortisone on the bumps and cover with them band-aides. However, he did warn us that that hydro-cortisone cream could lighten Micah's skin where applied (it often has that affect on people with darker pigmented skin)...good to know...but, one more head-ache!!

On a positive note, Micah doesn't act like the bumps are itchy -- I think the band-aides are more of a nuisance than the blisters.

6.02.2009

First trip to the Library!

We sang & danced with Farmer Jason at the Hoover Library this morning...Micah LOVED it! He wiggled & squealed the whole time! I wasn't sure how he'd respond, but he was totally engaged!

6.01.2009

just an observation

This just is just an observation that I've made lately...so take it for what it's worth. Trans-racial adoptions have many complexities -- and this is one of them.

Before Vince and I returned home with Micah -- actually, before we even submitted our application to adopt from Ethiopia, we frequently discussed how outsiders might perceive our family -- both white and black people. Living in the deep-south we expected some resistance to our trans-racial family, but we just weren't sure what that resistance would look like. The sad reality is, in the US skin color has been at the root of many problems for many years...long before Micah was born...long before I was born. (So please understand I do not share this observation flippantly.)

No, I did not expect the African-American community to do black-flips because a Caucasian couple adopted an Ethiopian child, BUT, I did not expect the coldness either. I'm not completely sure how to process the blank stares and looks of contempt. Sometimes it's the lack of eye-contact that is most noticeable...I don't think we'd earn a glance even if we were standing next to Jesus.

Part of me wants to share our story with these strangers, but then part of me wants to simply glare back. Most often I just look away...at a loss to initiate some type of connection. I'm not sure if the image of our family elicits insult -- i.e. you can't get it right, so we're going to do it for you??? NOTE: our goal in parenting an African child is not so we can make him white!!!! People with light skin are equally as screwed up as people with darker skin!! What's even more complex about the situation is that Micah is not even African-American...he's Ethiopian. Kind of like, though I have light skin I still have NOTHING in common with someone from Eastern Europe...other than skin color. (An African-American friend pointed this out to us...his culture is completely different from the Ethiopian culture.) So, to be nit-picky about it, Micah is Ethiopian-American, not African-American -- we will raise him according to this Ethiopian heritage. But, I digress...

On the other hand, white folks have their own unique reaction to us...which, interestingly enough, I often find insulting. Comments like, "Oh, he's much better off now..." Really? Why? Because we're white Americans?? I kind of understand their thinking: access to better health care and education are definitely benefits. But, those opportunities are not the end-all-be-all --- they don't necessarily out-purpose the opportunity to remain in one's home land with one's birth family. Micah has not been adopted into our family because America is superior or more resourced, but because God works all things (in Micah's case, all things being some very sad circumstances) together for good (my paraphrase, Rom 8:28).

So, I have been trying to view our family through the eyes of strangers. What would be my knee-jerk reaction be if I encountered an African-American family with Caucasian children? Would I do a double-take? Probably. But, would I experience anger toward that family? Oh, I pray not!! What look do other trans-racial families read on my face?


This is the attitude I strive for, even while being misunderstood by suspicious on-lookers:

Ga 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Col 3:11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

...again, just thought-processing in hope of greater understanding...

UPDATE: SHORTLY AFTER WRITING THIS POST, MICAH & I VENTURED OUT TO TARGET WHERE WE WERE TREATED VERY KINDLY BY TWO (YOUNG-20S) AFRICAN AMERICAN GIRLS...MAYBE THE VIBE I'M CATCHING HERE & THERE IS JUST A GENERATIONAL THING...

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